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Open Access Publications from the University of California

n-Type doping of a solution processed p-type semiconductor using isoelectronic surface dopants for homojunction fabrication


The p-n junction is one of the fundamental requirements for a practical semiconductor-based electronic device. Designing a heterojunction comprising of dissimilar p-type and n-type semiconductors calls for careful energy level considerations, both when selecting the semiconductor materials as well as the metal contacts. A homojunction based on a single semiconductor simplifies this task, as energy levels of the p-type and n-type materials are already fairly similar, allowing for easier selection of contacts. Traditionally, homojunctions rely on doping of a bulk semiconductor to achieve p- and n-type transport through controlled addition of aliovalent dopants via energy-intensive processes such as ion implantation or thermal annealing. Exact control of doping in nanocrystalline semiconductors is significantly more challenging, due to self-purification effects. However, owing to their large surface areas, surface moieties can be utilized to both dope the nanostructures as well as tune their energy levels. In this report, we present a facile technique based on an isoelectronic surface dopant in order to achieve p- and n-type materials based on the same semiconductor. We show that thin p-type colloidal Bi2Te3 nanowires can be switched to n-type through surface functionalization, thus increasing the availability of new nanocrystalline solution-processable p-n homojunctions.

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